Old Wounds New Beginnings

Part 2

By Kim (KP) Pritekel

Disclaimers: These two lovely ladies may seem a bit familiar, but that's about it. You don't know 'em, honest.

Subtext: Yes, this story is of an alternative nature, what else would come from me? So, basically if you aren't old enough to buy me a beer, wouldn't buy me a beer, or live some place where they don't sell beer, go away. Otherwise, sit back, relax, and let me entertain you.

Violence: Well, folks. I'm going to be honest here. I'm not real sure how far I'll take this, but know that part of this takes place in a prison, and it's not a pretty world. There will be violence, including murder, and also some scenes dealing with rape. If this bothers you, then please move on, or cover your eyes during the scary stuff. I think it'll be more disturbing than graphic, though.

Language: Yup. Be warned.

Note: The depiction of the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) is accurate in this story, however some names and possibly some aspects have been changed to protect the innocent, and also my butt. Hey, I wanna keep my job, okay?

Note 2: I have changed LaGrange, Texas to fit into the story, so if it is not like the real thing, just pretend, and don't hurt me. : )

If you'd like to tell me what a wonderful writer I am, or that I royally suck, feel free at: XenaNut@hotmail.com

Part 2

Jamie awoke with a start as the tires of a car peeled out of the motel parking lot. She jumped up, ready to face whatever, then rolled her eyes in irritation when she realized what had happened. She walked over to the large picture window, and pushed the heavy drapes aside. The day was shaping up to be another hot one. With a sigh, she let the drapes fall back into place, and looked around the dim room. The bed was a mess where she had tossed and turned during the usual dreams that chased her at night. The demons. Demons that she hoped some day she'd be able to finally kill, and be rid of.

Jamie raised her arms over her head, and stretched, her body still sore from all the riding the day before. She would definitely have to get used to that again. Her butt felt like she'd been riding on horseback for two weeks straight. Oh, but it was a good sore. She did not mind the pain one little bit because it meant that she was on her way to a new life filled with possibilities.


The open road stretched out as Jamie pulled out on 87 headed for her first stop in Tex-Mex, then on to Fredericksburg, then hit 71 to LaGrange. She urged the Harley on, this time leaving the helmet on the back of the bike, craving the feel of her hair blowing back behind her. She had finally gotten it cut before heading out of Raton, and it felt great. She felt great. Dressed in the same pair of black jeans, and a ribbed white tank, the sun beat down on her skin, filling her with a warmth that had been missing for so long. She felt like shouting, but did not feel like swallowing a mouth full of bugs, so opted for a smile instead.

Jamie had loaded her cassette player with a tape she had picked up at Wal-Mart called Power Ballads. She grinned as "I Want To Know What Love Is" by Foreigner began to filter through the single ear phone. She thought back to a time before she had gone to prison.

Lena had held on, her arms around Jamie's neck, one hand stroking the back of her head, their bodies pressed tightly together. They had moved to the music, dancing around Lena's living room.

"I love this song." she had whispered hotly into Jamie's ear, causing a shiver to stroll up and down the tall woman's spine. She grinned down at the older woman in answer. "I want to know what love is, Jamie. I know you can show me." she sang softly, bringing her hand down to lightly tease the skin of Jamie's cheek and forehead with long, red nails, her other hand running down her back, ending at a tight butt.

"What about your husband?" Jamie had whispered into the pale skin of Lena's neck. Lena closed her eyes, her neck arched to questing lips and tongue.

"He won't be home for hours." the older woman sighed.

"You sure?" Jamie asked with the swipe of her tongue to a sensitive ear.

"Uh huh."

Jamie had led the mother of one of her brother's friends, as well as one time babysitter to Johnny, to the couch, and had made her scream. Their affair had lasted for four months until Jamie had been arrested.

She remembered at the trial, Lena and her husband Sonny had been there with their son, Julian. Jamie had glanced over at Lena when the juror had announced the verdict, and Lena had avoided eye contact like she was avoiding the plague. Acting as if they had never met, never fucked.

Jamie shut this out of her mind with all the other stuff from the people of her past. Yeah, it was best to get the hell out of Colorado, out of Arvada for sure.

The miles and time flew by as Jamie made excellent time. The humidity filled heat hit her smack in the lungs. She could feel every pore oozing sweat, her tank sticking to her breasts as the sweat gathered in the valley between them. This was certainly different than the dry, dessert heat of Colorado. She grinned as Winger's "Miles Away" filled her ears. She could remember so clearly the days of M-TV, well, when M-TV had actually been music television, all the great videos of the 80's. She and Johnny would sit on the couch for an entire day during their summer breaks and watch videos; Cyndi Lauper, Damn Yankees, Skid Row, George Michael.

She sighed as she thought of Johnny. She had missed him so much over the past seven years. She had spent so many years worrying about him, having to protect him that when she had been locked up, she had been at a loss of what to do. No one to watch but herself, though that had been grueling enough for awhile. A slight shiver passed through her. She didn't want to think about that.

Jamie figured if she didn't stop, she could make LaGrange by seven-thirty, eight at the latest, and knew that the sun would still be up. The old man on the phone had given her directions on what road to take once she had passed through the actual city limits of LaGrange. The McClure ranch, or Triple M, was twenty miles outside of the town. He mentioned that she would have to pass under a large, wrought iron archway with the three letter M's entwined.

She pulled the bike to a stop, and glanced around. The lonely dirt road that she had been driving down for the last half hour, taking it slow so one of the huge rocks didn't fly up and get caught in one of her tires, and took in the desolate place. The scenery, however, was incredible. Used to the brown, earthy tones of Colorado, she had not been prepared for the incredible, vivid green that graced the softly rolling hills of the land around her. The wild, sun kissed grasses swayed slightly in the breeze that was the evening, the sun just beginning to show any sign of leaving for the night. The sounds of birds flying home for the night, or zooming down to catch dinner, filled the air, the buzzing of the innumerable bugs bringing a smile to her face. Jamie sat atop her bike, one booted foot on the ground, the other on the foot peg, her arms crossed over her chest. She took a deep breath, closing her eyes as the smell of nature, and cow manure met her nostrils.

Jamie stood with a deep sigh, and started the bike, driving under the iron archway, and into the unknown.

The long, dirt road led straight for a bit, then turned slightly until it was an all out curve toward the left. Jamie could see in the far off distance a blurb of a house. Damn, how much land did these people have, anyway? The old man had told her that as she made her way up, she would more than likely see some of the other ranch hands as she came in, and to stop and ask where to find this Tyg person.

Just off to the left past the wire fence she spotted an old green Chevy with a flatbed loaded with bales of hey. Someone was standing on the flatbed, tossing the bales out onto the ground. Jamie raised a brow, and pulled the bike up to the gate, and turned her off. She kept her gaze on the person as she walked the few yards to the gate, and let herself into the large field that the dirt road split in two. On the one side, not far from the truck and flatbed, a group of cows were grazing. Once again the intense stench of cow shit assaulted her nose. Jamie placed her thumbs in the belt loops of her jeans as she made her way toward the figure. As she got closer she realized that the person was a woman. Jamie glanced up at her. She wore baggy khaki shorts laden with pockets. Tan, muscular legs extended out of the shorts, and ended in high cut work boots, the type that resemble hiking boots, that extended up to cover the bottom part of muscular calves that flexed as the woman heaved the heavy bales. Jamie's eyes raised to see a stained, sweaty white tank. The woman's arms were just as muscular and tanned as her legs. Jamie noticed how the muscles in the woman's arms, shoulders and back flexed with the picking up, the release of each golden bale. She wore an old, much used cowboy hat, and the part of her face that wasn't shadowed from the hat was covered by a red and white handkerchief.

"Excuse me." Jamie said, tearing her eyes off of that body. She was curious as hell to see what her face looked like. The woman continued what she was doing. Jamie was genuinely shocked and impressed at the speed with which the muscular, though petite woman moved those bales. She knew that those things had to weigh close to a hundred pounds apiece. "Hey." she said, her voice louder, disturbing a near-by bird that had been perched on the roof of the truck. The woman stopped, and looked down at her.

"You mind keeping it down? You'll scare the cows." came the impatient reply. "If you're lost, walk that way, back out the way you came in, get on that nasty soundin' machine, and head down that road, and take a right, and you should-"

"No, I'm Jamie Madden." Jamie interrupted, impatiently shifting her weight to her other foot. The woman stared down at her.


Okay, now she was getting really pissed.

"And, I'm supposed to meet with someone named Tyg." the woman stared at her for a moment, her hands on her hips. Jamie met the eyes that she couldn't see, her own spitting blue fire. She did not come all this way to be treated like shit. Finally the woman jumped down from the flatbed, and walked around her in a slow circle, nodding to herself. The woman reached out a hand, and wrapped warm fingers around one of Jamie's biceps, squeezing. "Get your fucking hands off me!" Jamie pulled her arm away, and glared. The woman, nonplussed by her reaction, continued on her tour, glancing down at her legs, running a hand down the side of Jamie's thigh. Jamie gritted her teeth as fire followed the woman's touch. It had been way too damn long.

"Nice, but a little thin." the woman stopped her circling, and stood to face Jamie. She pulled the handkerchief away from her face, leaving it to rest around her throat. Jamie was shown a beautiful smile with full lips, and the slightest hint of dimples. "But we'll fatten ya up." she continued, the words drawn out in a drawl, her voice low, even. "I think you'll do just fine, Jamie."

'Who the hell are you?" Jamie asked, still a bit irritated from her bit as a show cattle at auction.

"Oh, hell. I'm being just as rude as a June bug." the woman whipped the hat from her head, and long, golden tresses fell around her shoulders. The rays of the dying sun caught the strands, and set them on fire. Smiling green eyes stared out of a tanned, youthful face. The woman extended her hand. "Howdy, I'm Tyg."

Jamie, struck temporarily dumb, finally gathered her wits, and shook the woman's hand.


"Well, it is certainly nice to meet ya, Jamie." Tyg walked over to the bumper of the truck, and grabbed a long sleeve button-up shirt, and wiped her forehead and face and neck. "Gets hot as tar 'round here." she smiled at Jamie who watched her closely. Tyg grabbed a hand held radio, and pushed the talk button. "Bobby, you on?" she drawled into the speaker.

"Yo, boss." a man's voice squawked out of the handset.

"I need you ta come out here and finish with these bales. We got ourselves a new hand, and I'm gonna take her on up to the house."

"Be there in a few."

"Ten-four." the blonde set the radio into a holster on her hip, and smiled at Jamie again, and walked over to her. "Wanna help me?"

"Uh, okay." Jamie said, not sure what to do with herself. She grabbed the sunglasses from her face, and stuck one of the arms in her front pant's pocket, the body of the dark glasses dangling against her hip. Tyg stared at her for a moment, then that ever present smile appeared again.

"You have got the most beautiful eyes I think I have ever seen." Jamie gave her a nervous lopsided grin, those beautiful blue eyes darting around, trying to find anywhere to look but at amused green.

"Uh, thanks." the blonde's melodic laughter filled the quiet of the approaching night.

"Hell, honey, I didn't mean to embarrass you. You'll get over that soon enough." she headed toward the truck again, and bent down by the hitch where the flatbed was attached to it. "You gonna help me or not?" she asked over her shoulder.

"Oh." Jamie pulled her hands from her pockets, and hurried over to the blonde. She looked down at the contraption, not sure what she was supposed to do.

"Okay, now hold on to this here, and I'm gonna unscrew this, okay?"

"Kay." Tyg grinned.

Tyg watched as her new ranch hand held the ball joint. She was completely intrigued by this tall, dark haired beauty. Jamie was full of secrets, she could tell. She looked like a city girl. Tyg wondered what the hell someone so citified would be doing wanting to work on a ranch. As they had been standing talking, well, Tyg talking, Jamie listening uncomfortably, Tyg had looked into those baby blues, and had seen... nothing. She had never seen that before in all her twenty-six years. Hollow, lifeless. It was fascinating. What on God's green earth could cause someone so young and beautiful to be void of life? She normally had the natural born gift of being able to read straight through a person's soul. Not this one. Jamie had it blocked off with what seemed to be an entire battalion of warriors.

The flatbed was free from the truck, and Tyg laid the hitch onto a cinder block standing on end used for that purpose. She wiped her hands on the side of her shorts, and smiled up at Jamie.

"Okay, honey, now let's head to the house for some dinner. You eaten?"

"Um, no." the tall woman said, her hands returning to the safety of her pockets again. Tyg glanced down at the unhitched flatbed, and breathed a sigh of relief that the day was just about over. She was tired, and was dying for a long, hot bath to try and relax sore muscles.

"Well, then let's go. Tell you what, Jamie, why don't you follow me on your bike. That thing isn't gonna do you a bit of good on a ranch, and it's gonna scare the shit out of the cattle. Believe me, they smell bad enough all on their own." she grinned. The other woman didn't. She slapped Jamie on the arm, and pointed to a rough road that led out of the field. "See that?" Jamie followed where the blonde pointed, and nodded. "Okay, that's the road I'll be taking in my heap here." she patted the tailgate of the old truck. "Follow me. I'll take you to the old barn at the edge of the ranch, and near where you'll be stayin'. The barn ain't used anymore, and you can park her there, okay?"

"Yeah, okay."

Jamie climbed onto the bike, and watched as the break lights of the truck blinked twice, then was in motion. She thought about the small blonde. Did she run this whole thing? Or was she just in charge of the ranch hands? The ad had said to talk to her. The woman looked to be no older than her early twenties. Just a baby. The bike roared to life, and the cows that had been near-by mooed, and hurried away as fast as their bulk would allow. Jamie followed the truck and thought of its driver. That woman would drive her nuts with that incessant chattering of hers. How the hell did she get any work done if she didn't shut up?

The headlights of the truck shone on a building that was just a dark shape in the darkening sky. A huge barn with a black gaping whole for what Jamie assumed had once been the hay loft, and two double doors, each big enough to allow a truck to enter on one side.

Tyg killed the ignition, and jumped out of the truck, walking over to one of the big doors, and grunted as she put her body weight into opening it. Jamie walked over to the blonde, and helped her.

"I tell you, when it rains, these things swell up, and it takes an act of God to open again." Tyg grunted. Finally the door was open half way, and the blonde beckoned Jamie to drive the bike in. Once standing out in the fresh air of the night instead of the stifling heat of the barn, Jamie turned to the blonde.

"Follow me and I'll show you where ya'll be stayin'."

Jamie glanced around, the light of day quickly fading. She stayed close to the little blonde so she wouldn't fall over anything. The night air was still hot, and just plain muggy. Jamie could feel the sweat the had pooled between her breasts again, and knew that it had soaked through the material of her tank. As if Tyg had read her mind, she said,

"Still pretty hot, huh?" Jamie nodded, though she knew the other woman couldn't see it. "Where are you from, honey?" Tyg asked, turning to her companion as they walked toward the small wooden structures that the hands lived in.

"Colorado." Jamie mumbled. Please don't ask where, please....

"Oh, hell, then you ain't used to our kind of heat then. I don't have the first clue how ya'll survive in that dry desert nonsense." she chuckled deep in her throat. "Then again, I'm sure you're wonderin' the same thing about us."

"Yeah." Jamie said, almost to herself.

Tyg led them to a structure that was set in a little community of identical buildings scattered into a sort of semi-circle, the center of the community stood well with a bucket tied to a rope sitting on the edge of the roofed structure. The houses were small, but well kept made of dark wood panels with a solid front door, and a window in front, a porch light off to the side of the door.

Tyg led them to the one that was furthest back, slightly apart from the others, and looked to be a bit bigger, too. She grabbed the door, and to Jamie's surprise, it was unlocked. Another thing she'd have to get used to again; unlocked doors.

Tyg reached around the wall and found the light switch, flicked it on. The dark room was suddenly bathed in yellow light. Jamie looked around the small room. Just off to the left was a potbellied stove, and next to that was a long counter that was the entire length of the wall, cupboards hanging above the counter, and below it. A small stainless steel sink was the center mark in the counter. A round table big enough for four matching wooden chairs, was the centerpiece of the room. On the back wall was another door, this one with a window, and a small checkered curtain over it. To the right were two doors. Jamie walked to the first one, and tested the knob. Tyg watched on in fascination as Jamie tried the knob, then almost seemed surprised yet pleased when it opened. She leaned against the wall by the door and let the new hand explore her new place. She glanced down at the long legs that fit so well into the tight fitting black jeans. Jamie was too thin for her tall frame. The white tank she wore was stuck to her like an extra skin. Her long, dark hair was disheveled, and wind blown from her trip. She was gorgeous. Tyg was especially taken by those incredible blue eyes. Even though they were empty, they were still an incredible color reminding her of the bluest Texas sky. She hoped that in Jamie's stay at the Triple M, those eyes would be filled with life again. She knew that ranching was a passion, not a job, and either you loved it, or you hated it. She hoped that the new hand would grow to love it.

Jamie walked into the first room, and could see from the light shining in from the main room that it was a bedroom. A good sized bed made up with sheets and topped neatly by a white bedspread with dark colored squares here and there. She couldn't determine the actual color from the dim light, but they seemed to be blue. The bed was against the left wall. Next to the bed was a small night stand with a lamp and alarm clock. A window stood above the night stand, as well as another window on the wall to the right where a tall dresser stood with a mirror attached.

"No closet, I'm afraid." Jamie heard quietly from behind her.

"Okay." Jamie said absently, noting the stand in the corner just to the right with a small television on it.

"The reception ain't great, but it works."

Jamie turned to face the woman, and smiled. She walked over to the other door, and opened it to find herself in a surprisingly large bathroom considering the size of the place. An old, claw-footed bathtub sat against the far wall with a sink and toilet facing each other on the walls to the right and left. No shower.

Jamie closed the door and looked around the main room once more. She couldn't keep the grin that spread across her lips from forming. It was small, but it was clean, and she knew that she could definitely make a run of it. Tyg watched her carefully, trying to read her.

"You know, Jamie, this place is yours to do whatever with. Decorate it, or leave it be. Your choice."

Jamie looked down at the younger woman, and pulled the smile from her lips. She took a step away from the little blonde, and leaned against one of the chairs at the table. She took the green duffel from her shoulder, and set it down on the table.

"Is this okay?" Tyg asked softly. Jamie nodded. This was more than okay.


Tyg had insisted that Jamie go back to the main house with her and eat some supper. Jamie had reluctantly agreed, preferring to be alone in her new home, but hungry, and had no food. The ride to the house was quiet. Tyg glanced over at the new hand, her brows drawn in her own thoughts. She took in the woman's pensive posture almost huddled against the door.

"You know I ain't gonna hurt you, honey." she smiled. Jamie looked at her, and grinned nervously, moving herself away from the door, but kept her arms crossed over her chest.

The house was a large two story painted white with dark red trim. The front porch extended around the entire first floor, rocking chairs placed here and there, and a wrought iron table and chairs was set up near the back door. Tyg pulled the truck up the long dirt drive to where it curved around to stop in front of the front door, painted the same dark red with a beveled glass design that matched that of the windows on either side of the door. Lights were on throughout the house. Jamie was in awe of the place. It must have been a hundred years old at least. Tyg smiled at the hand as they got out of the truck.

"My granddaddy bought this place from a rancher about fifty years ago. The house itself was built in the late 1880's."

Wow. Jamie stared up at it, and thought how amazing it would be to have something that held so much history, such ties. Tyg saw the awe, and the woman's unsuccessful attempt to hide it. She kept a grin at bay.

"Come on in, Jamie."

Their boots were heavy thuds on the old floorboards of the porch. Tyg opened the door and Jamie was bathed in rich light and incredible smells.

"Ah, I see Rosa's been at it again." Tyg untied the kerchief from around her neck, and dropped it onto the small table near the door. Jamie looked around, and from what she could see from her vantage point at the front door, just ahead and to the right was a staircase that led up to a landing with an octagon shaped window with panes of stained glass. She wondered what that looked like in the light of day.

"My grandma did that thirty years ago." Jamie turned to see Tyg staring up at the work of art, her voice wistful.

"You were close?" Jamie asked, her voice quiet, almost uncertain. Tyg looked at her and beamed the most beautiful smile at her, nodding.

"Yes. Very. See, my mamma died when I was very young. Gram was everything to me." Tyg removed her cowboy hat, and threw it on the table next to her handkerchief.

"Child! Don't make me beat you!" Jamie turned around in surprise at the sound of the high pitched voice. An older woman with gray hair wrapped up in a tight bun on top of her head, and her heavyset body in a flower patterned dress with a white apron tied around her ample middle. "You kids today think that all I have to do all day long is clean up after you." the older woman snapped the dirty kerchief and hat from the table top. She shoved them toward Tyg's face. "Does this look like where these belong? I don't think so." the woman threw the kerchief into the hat, and disappeared just as quickly as she had come in. Jamie watched the woman leave, then turned to Tyg, a confused look on her face.

"That was Rosa. She's been the housekeeper here for twenty-five years. My daddy hired her to look after me. She's nominated herself as the matriarch of the household, so beware." Tyg said with a chuckle. Jamie could tell that the young woman was very fond of this Rosa.

Jamie was led through the house with its sturdy, rustic furniture, and earth toned decor. She glanced down at the polished hard wood floors, large area rugs covering the heavy traffic areas. They came out of a long hall, the walls on either side riddled with pictures of the ranch, Tyg at many different ages, some with a very good-looking man wearing an Oilers baseball cap holding a young looking Tyg on his knee. Others showed Tyg with an older couple who Jamie assumed were her grandparents. The end of the hall was the kitchen with its new-looking appliances, all black, and the butcher block island in the middle of the large cooking area. Off to the left was a large table made from logs.

"Sit." Tyg said, plopping down into the nearest of the ten chairs. Jamie sat, looking at the other eight chairs that surrounded them. "We have all the hands in for lunch, so we had this monster built to seat us all." Tyg explained, running her hands through blonde hair. Jamie watched the motion with interest, but looked away before the most beautiful green eyes she had ever seen, could meet hers. Jamie heard movement, and looked in time to see Rosa entering the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron. She took a pot off the stove, and filled two bowls with chili that smelled heavenly. Jamie could feel her mouth begin to water. The food inside was nasty. She had not had a home cooked meal in nearly eight years. Even on the outside she was useless in the kitchen.

Rosa grabbed two large glasses from the cabinet, and filled them both to the rim with cold milk, placing it all on a tray, she brought the food to the two hungry women.

"Who is this lovely creature?" Rosa asked, dark brown eyes sparkling at Jamie as she set a steaming bowl in front of the dark haired woman.

"Rosa, this-"

"Ah!" the older woman placed her hand over Tyg's mouth, her eyes never leaving Jamie. "God gave her those beautiful lips to speak for herself." Jamie glanced over at Tyg and was greeted with two laughing green eyes, Rosa's hand still firmly in place.

"My-" Jamie croaked, then cleared her throat to try again. "My name is Jamie Madden. I'm the new ranch hand."

"Well, Jamie Madden it is nice to meet you. You can call me Rosa. I live to clean up after this one." the older woman said, her last statement was as sarcastic as the day is long. Tyg's brows drew, and the older woman yelled out, pulling her hand away from smiling lips. Rosa stared at her palm. "You have the manners of a sewer rat."

"Yeah, well you helped raise me." Tyg grinned. She looked at Jamie giving her a brief wink before staring up at the older woman again.

"I can't believe you bit me, you little monster." Rosa chuckled, snapping a towel at the still grinning blonde. Jamie watched the interaction of the two women and realized that they were obviously very close. She thought of her own mother, and the fights they used to get into. The fights caused by a girl who was too strong willed for her own good.

"You're just like your father!" Candy used to yell just before she'd break down into tears.

"Jamie?" Jamie's head snapped up as she realized that Tyg was talking to her. Rosa had moved back into the kitchen at the sink where she had begun to wash dishes. "Where'd you go, honey? There for a second you were on Mars, I think."

"Sorry." Jamie grinned. "Just thinking."

"Well eat up. Mornin' is gonna come right quick."


Jamie laid on top of the cool sheets in just a tank and underwear. Both the windows in the room were open, but the night was still hot. She laid on her back, hands in their usual place behind her head as she stared up at the dark ceiling. Because she had arrived so late, Tyg hadn't been able to show her much of the ranch, but the small blonde promised that tomorrow, first thing, she would take Jamie on a tour of the 725 acres.

"Hell, this place used to be a lot bigger than that." Tyg had said on the way back to Jamie's place, at Jamie's look of surprise. "This used to be the biggest ranch in the area 'till my daddy lost some money gambling, and we had to sell off. Still are." she had said, almost to herself.

Jamie thought of the blonde. So she was a McClure. Even though the small woman slightly irritated her, she had a healthy dose of respect for her. Jamie knew all too well how hard it was to make a life for yourself as a woman, but Tyg seemed to be doing just fine.

She sighed as she thought of the alarm going off at four in the morning, and closed her eyes.

The slam of the truck door echoed through the quiet night, answered by a distant mooing of an unseen cow. A sound as familiar to Tyg as the blowing wind. She made her way to the side door that she used, locking it behind her. She was tired; it had been a long day, and an even longer week. She made her way to the kitchen for the glass of water she took up to her room every night, and was not surprised to see Rosa still at work.

"You look tired, little one." the older women said, not even turning from the dough she was kneading in a large, clay bowl.

"I am." Tyg plopped onto the high stool that was at the end of the counter where Rosa worked. It had been there since Tyg had been four. She had been born with a deep curiosity, and had wanted to watch the housekeeper, but had been too short to get the view she had wanted. Without a word, Rosa had headed to a storage closet, dug out the old stool, and had plopped an eager little butt onto its hard wood seat. Rosa smiled as she thought of an eight year old Tyg going on and on about a little boy who had pushed her on the playground, and how proud of herself she'd been when the feisty fair-haired child had clocked the poor unsuspecting boy in the jaw. Then a squealing sixteen year old who had just gotten her license.

While sitting on that stool, Rosa had heard about happy times, heartaches, and had helped Tyg come up with a way to tell her grandfather that the seventeen year old had crashed his truck into a ditch. So many memories. She couldn't love the girl more if she had been of her own flesh and blood.

"So what do you think of this Jamie?" the older woman asked, dropping the pile of dough onto the counter with a plop. She smeared some flour on the smooth marble surface, and placed the dough on it. She glanced at Tyg who was watching her deft hands at work.

"Not sure, yet. Can't read this one." the young woman said with a sigh.

"Oh, so the oracle has lost her touch, eh?" the older woman smiled. Tyg looked up into sparkling brown eyes, and nodded.

"I guess so. Granddaddy didn't tell me a thing about her. Hell, he just told me she was coming this morning." Tyg jumped down from the stool, and walked over to the fridge, grabbing a bottle of Corona out. She popped the top, and took a long drink. She was too tired to sleep, and knew the beer would help to wipe her out.

"That one is filled with secrets." Rosa said, smoothing flour over the wooden surface of her rolling pen.

"I agree." Tyg climbed back up on the stool. "Hell, I just hope she's a good worker. I think she will be. That is, if she stays." she hopped down again, and kissed the older woman on the cheek. "Night, Rosa."

"Sleep well, little one." Rosa watched the young woman disappear up the stairs, her usual glass of water forgotten. She shook her head with a smile. "She'll stay."


The faces were blurred, the light above dim, dimming, gone. The room was dark, yet people were all around. Jamie could feel hands on her shoulders holding her down, hands on her head, holding her face to the side, a hand over her mouth. She wanted to scream, to make them stop, but could not. A third pair of hands were on her legs, holding them down while yet another pair was ripping at the material of her underwear, the cloth giving at the seams with a quiet tearing sound. Oh, god! Jamie began to struggle more as she realized what was happening.

"Keep her still." a voice hissed, and the sets of hands on her body held her tighter, her muscles screaming against the strain. The cool night air touched her sex as the underwear was ripped clean off.

"Yeah, come on, Stormy. Do it. Fuck her." a voice off to the left whispered, full of excitement.

"Nah, I'm gonna get her ready for me. Don't wanna hurt her." the first voice said, down by Jamie's feet.

"Who gives a fuck." the voice to the left hissed.

"This one's different, so I give a fuck, got it?"

"Knock it off, you two. Come one, Stormy, you got all the time to be gentle."

The faceless voice down by Jamie's feet got closer as she began to whisper obscenities as she began to stroke Jamie with soft, yet purposeful fingers. Jamie closed her eyes as she could feel her body betraying her, and responding to the caresses.

"You see?" the voice whispered again, getting closer until Jamie felt hot breath on her neck, then a tongue. "Yeah, just like that, baby. Get wet for me." without further ado, Jamie tried to cry out as she felt four fingers enter her, then the thumb folded in, and she was completely filled. She thought she would be split in two. Fire that started between her legs climbed up her body to spread out and explode in her stomach. The fist began to pump hard, then the tongue left her neck, and found its way to her clit where it began to flick against the bundle, making it stand. The intensity of the pleasure mixed with the pain was too much for Jamie's body, and she was wracked with an orgasm that was ripped from what felt to be the depths of her soul. She bit the hand that covered her mouth as a scream was pulled from her body. Jamie began to breath hard as the fear began to creep in again...

"No!" Jamie jumped from the bed, smacking her leg on the nightstand. Fully awake, she stared around the dark room, her tank top stuck to her heaving chest from the sweat of the dream, and the hot early morning temp. She ran her hands through damp hair, smoothing it away from her face, and glanced at the alarm clock. It was almost four, and the alarm would be going off in fifteen minutes.

"Fuck." she whispered, plopping down on the edge of the bed, her breathing beginning to slow. Jamie stared out the window at the darkness that was pressed up against the screen, the chirping of a near-by cricket filtering into the small room. She blew out the sour breath that she hadn't realized she'd been holding, and stood, headed for the bathroom.

Jamie groaned as she felt the sweat already starting to gather as she dressed. This was miserable. She would have to get some shorts. Yesterday, after noticing the small cuts and scrapes that littered Tyg's legs, Jamie had thought she was crazy for wearing shorts in such a job, but now completely understood the inclination. She pulled on a loser pair of blue jeans, and an emerald green t-shirt, with her riding boots; the only shoes she had. Tyg was supposed to be around by four-thirty to take her up to the house for breakfast, then off to the ranch.

Tyg was surprised when she opened the door to get out of the truck when Jamie appeared, closing the door to her place behind her. Usually the new hands had to be woken up the first few days. Tyg smiled.

"Mornin'. Sleep okay?"

"It was kind of hot." Jamie muttered as she climbed into the cab of the green truck. Tyg grinned.

"That it was."

the sun was just beginning to barely peak over the horizon as the large truck made the bumpy way up to the house. A couple of trucks were parked out off to the side of the place.

"The other hands are already here." Tyg answered Jamie's unspoken question. "They usually pile in here around four, four-fifteen. Just depends." Jamie nodded her acknowledgment, and got out of the truck.

The house was filled with raucous laughter as the two women entered the main hall. Strong, male voices resonated around the room, and all stopped as they entered.

"What ya'll stop eating for? You ain't ever seen a woman?" Tyg said as she sat in her usual chair at the head of the table, showing Jamie the chair next to hers. Jamie sat, and glanced around at the eight pairs of eyes that met her stare. "BJ, hand me the rolls, will ya?"

A sandy haired man passed a basket of fresh rolls to Tyg, never taking his pale blue eyes off of Jamie. She glanced at him, noticed the stared, and her eyes returned to meet his, her brows drawing in an intense look loaded with warning. The pale blue eyes quickly averted to the plate of bacon. Jamie made a quick scan to see if anyone else found anything interesting. She felt a hand on her arm, and turned to glare into amused green eyes.

"Here, have some eggs, honey."

Jamie piled her plate high with eggs, scrambled with cheese and milk, bacon, sausage, grits, and Texas toast with homemade jelly and hot rolls. She was in heaven.

"Glad to see ya got a healthy appetite, honey." Jamie met Tyg's grin, and gave her a crooked grin of her own, noticing the pile of food on Tyg's own plate that had quickly disappeared.

"So do you." she said, a round of laughter following her comment. Soon she found herself chuckling at the antics of the other hands as they told her stories of Tyg's legendary appetite. She found that she was interested in what they had to say, especially about Tyg. The small woman just seemed to be full of surprises.

The other hands pushed away from the table at exactly five o'clock, as if it were a common rule, or something. Jamie watched as they grabbed their hats and caps off the back knob of their chairs, some tipping their hat or bill at the two women as they left. Tyg turned to Jamie with a smile.

"Well, that's our gang. A bunch of damn hard workers." she stood, and grabbed her hat and kerchief off the back knob of her own chair. "Ready?" Tyg asked, plopping the hat on her head. Jamie nodded, followed the smaller woman out of the house.

Tyg pulled her door shut with a bang, the heavy door in need of some serious oiling. She turned the ignition, the large truck roaring to life. Tyg pulled away from the house, and headed toward the main road, and then took a sharp turn onto the rough dirt road she'd used the day before, and headed out around the back of the house.

"That field there, where I was yesterday, is the south pasture. Most of the cattle end up there to graze. We have about three hundred head right now." she pulled the truck off to the side of the road, her arm resting along the open window. Jamie watched as the cows were beginning to make their way around, soft moos coming through the open window of the truck. Tyg smiled at Jamie, her expression proud. "We have two pregnant right now. You'll be able to see them give birth." she turned back to look out the window. "It's quite amazin'. Over that way, on the other side of the road is the north pasture. It's by far the biggest with two hundred and thirteen acres. That's mainly where the horses go." Jamie glanced in the direction of the large, flat piece of land, and took in the way the dawning morning reflected off the green grass. "Beautiful, isn't it?" she turned to meet Tyg's smile, filled with peace and pride. She nodded as she turned back to the expanse. "Now I'll take ya on up to the corral and show you the stream." the truck began moving again, and they followed the road as it curved about a mile behind the main house, and straightened out to run smack into a large corral and stable area. Near the corral was a fenced in running area where about two dozen horses ran freely.

"Wow." Jamie said, staring at the incredible beauty of the beasts as they ran and played, some grazing.

"That is our livelihood that you're lookin' at. Beautiful, ain't they?" Jamie nodded absently. Tyg pulled the truck up to the corral, a large octagon shaped dirt yard ringed by a rail fence, and cut off the engine. "Come on. I'll introduce ya to my horse. Jamie followed the little blonde through a thick, wooden fence, and up to another, higher one. Tyg leaned her elbows along the fence, and leaned her body against it. Jamie stood next to her, staring at five horses that were about ten yards away, happily munching on some oats. "See that one?" Tyg said, pointing to a beautiful Palomino that raised its head to glance at them, then walked over to the fence where Tyg fit her hand through the space between the first and second rail of the fence, and stroked the animal's golden nose. "Hey, baby." she cooed to the large animal. She turned to Jamie. "This is Hazelnut. But generally she just gets called Nut, huh, baby?" the gold-colored mare whinnied, and bobbed her head up and down, the white mane covering a dark eye. Jamie couldn't help but grin.

"She's beautiful." she told Tyg. The blonde grinned.

"Yes, she sure is. Nut and I have been a team since I was sixteen. Can you ride?"

"Harley's, yeah." Tyg laughed, patting her horse, then turning to face Jamie.

"No, I mean horses."

"You've got to be crazy. I am not getting on anything that stands that high off the ground." Jamie exclaimed, indicating the beast standing before them just on the other side of the fence. Tyg grinned.

"Well, honey, you best get used to the idea right quick. Before you know it, you'll be on one of these guys." Jamie looked at the smaller woman like she had lost her mind. "Tell ya what. I'll give you a ride on Hazelnut here, teach you how ta ride, and you give me a ride on your Harley, call it even."

Jamie grinned at the mental picture of the petite blonde astride the massive bike. But she had never stepped away from a challenge.

"Okay." Tyg smiled, and the sun seemed to burn just a bit brighter for a moment.

"I'll be right back. Need ta saddle Nut here up." Tyg hurried to the gate, and walked into the corral, taking Hazelnut by the reins, she led the mare toward a large barn at one end of the corral. Jamie looked around, the pungent smell of manure ever present. She wondered how long it took to get used to that smell. She noticed a smaller corral about ten yards away from the larger one, and a single horse was standing at the fence, its head hanging over the top rail, staring at her. The horse was magnificent, its black coat shiny, muscular body tense, almost as if it were ready to lunge over the fence. For some reason Jamie did not feel fear at the animal's obvious wild presence. She wondered why such an animal was on the ranch when the other horsed seemed so well trained, and mild. She found herself heading over to the smaller corral, fascinated as the black beast moved away from the fence out to the center of the dirt pen, and reared up on its hind legs, its front hooves gracefully batted at the air.

Tyg led Hazelnut out of the barn, her eyes wondering to where Jamie had been standing. Realizing she wasn't there, her brows drew as she glanced around. Then she spotted her. The mysterious woman was slowly walking toward the Arabian in what had been dubbed as the rowdy pen. The wild horse, rare in its black coloring, reared up, and Tyg was surprised to see that Jamie didn't seem to fear the large mare. Jamie walked up to the high rail fence, her forearms resting along the top rail.

"Shhhh. You're a wild one, aren't you?" Jamie cooed as all four hooves hit the ground again. The horse shook its head, snorting. Tyg stopped Nut, and just watched. The horse seemed to like Jamie, too. It almost seemed appropriate. They were both dark, sleek, creatures of beauty that Tyg just couldn't seem to reach.

part 3

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